Originally published Wednesday, 14 May 2014.
Yesterday I shared Part 1 of an excerpt from my upcoming book Just RISE UP!: A Call To Make Jesus Famous. I hope that you are encouraged. Lately I've experienced a need for authenticity with in this generation and especially with in the church. One way to start: a lifestyle of praise. Here is Part 2...
So far in this section we have discussed outward expressions of authentic faith full of reverence and commitment. But the root of this kind of lifestyle must come from inside. The condition of our hearts—full of reverence for His name and commitment to love and obey Him always—steers us to a long-lasting passion to live with boldness for the fame of Jesus. When we cultivate a lifestyle that praises God daily, a strong passion arises. This passion is really a daily discipline and a choice that starts with our thoughts, which affect our actions and outward expressions. I encourage you to soak in the following qualities of Christ in order to spark your passion as you daily pursue more and more of Jesus.
Finally, brothers and sisters, fill your minds with beauty and truth. Meditate on whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is good, whatever is virtuous and praiseworthy. Keep to the script: whatever you learned and received and heard and saw in me—do it—and the God of peace will walk with you. (Phil. 4:8–9 THE VOICE; bold emphasis added)
I love how this translation uses the terms “fill your minds” and “meditate on . . .” It reminds us that God does not just say, “Don’t think bad thoughts”; He gives us a positive alternative. When we meditate on what is beautiful and true, there is no room for sick and sinful thinking. All of the qualities in this passage come straight from who Jesus is. He is pure. He is good. He is praiseworthy. It is to our utmost benefit to fill up with these same qualities and emulate Him. To be authentic is to be made or done in the same way as an original. Our “original” is Jesus. We live the most authentic lifestyle when we live the same way (both inside, in our hearts, and outside, through our actions) that Jesus did. How quickly that authenticity can wane and our passion can be quelled when we fill our minds with anything that is not blessed by God!
Inward reverence and commitment go hand in hand with this as well. Inner reverence for Christ is shown when we dwell on Him above all else. He is more satisfying than anything money can buy, any romantic relationship, any love for a child, any job, any friendship, or any hobby. This level of commitment to Christ is shown when we deny ourselves things like pride, jealousy, or anger because they threaten obedience and joy.
Do you get fired up at the thought of a lifestyle of authentic faith and praise? I do. I said earlier that I envision women all over the world as sparks, lighting a fire and challenging others to RISE UP along with them and make Jesus famous. The potential impact that we make has eternal effects. We want to make a mark on our world, but not one that points to our own achievements. Instead we want to leave an impression on hearts that will point them to the goodness of Jesus. It starts with inward reverence and commitment, and then bold obedience to the call to RISE UP with outward authenticity of faith.
How will you practice reverence and commitment as you RISE UP and make Jesus famous?
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***You can pre-order your copy of Just RISE UP! HERE.